SCHOOL FOOTBALL: LB Cup scalp for Grammar

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Spalding Grammar School’s senior football team kicked-off their LB Cup campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 home win over last year’s semi finalists Bedford Modern School.

The annual competition involves private schools from all over the country – and although Spalding are not a private school, they are invited each year due to their rich historic grounding.

Two years ago Spalding suffered penalty heartache in the final, but they’re keen to go one better this time around.

Man-of-the-match Ryan Kirchin attempted a couple of long-range efforts in a goalless first period that saw Grammar lose skipper Sam Howell and defender Simon Bagg to injury.

Chances were still few and far between after the break, but Spalding broke the deadlock 20 minutes from time when a smart interchange between Alex Wood and Timmy Magnus that saw the latter run through to slot home.

A change of formation and the reintroduction of captain Howell following treatment helped Grammar resiliently hold on to their lead for the remainder of the match, with Kings Ely next up on Thursday.

Manager Dave Endersbee said: “In my seven years as senior manager, I have not witnessed such a strong performance of resilience and confidence under pressure.

“The lads really pulled together and dug in at a time when we have been susceptible to collapse in the past. Every single player was truly brilliant.”

Spalding (4-4-2): Shuster; Pryke, Nottingham, Bagg, Bird; Allen, Howell (capt), Magnus, Kirchin; Vassallo, Wood. Subs: Dicker, Booth, Want.